Robinhood Appoints ex-Google executive as CPO

Robinhood has appointed former Google executive Aparna Chennapragada as chief product officer. She will be responsible for all product, design and research at the trading company.

Chennapragada joins Robinhood from Google, where she spent 12 years and led product, engineering and design teams, across Google Search, Shopping and AR.

Her most recent role was of CP for consumer shopping, and the lead for AR and visual search products. Prior to this, she was the technical assistant to the CEO, where she shaped the company’s product strategy.

Aparna Chennapragada, CPO at Robinhood, commented: “I spent my career at Google building products that help billions of people in their everyday lives. So I couldn’t be more excited to join Robinhood and help more people build their financial future and personal wealth.”

Robinhood has suffered from growing pains over the last year as its popularity has exploded during the Covid-19 pandemic. The growing popularity has not ceased yet.

Robinhood Crypto has seen six million new customers joining the club in 2021 so far. The monthly average of new customers trading on Robinhood Crypto was about 200,000 customers during 2020.

The app-based retail stock trading company has currently valued well north of $10 billion, although recent trading disruptions amid the Gamestop frenzy has turned Robinhood into a villain for many investors who felt betrayed of last minute changes to trading conditions.

The restrictions to the trading of certain stocks amid the extreme volatility experienced during the ‘meme stocks’ trading frenzy have weakened the broker’s branding of an agent for the democratization of trading.

The business model, based on payment for order flow, has led to accusations of conflict of interest and even conspiracy against its customers. Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev has blamed the current settlement cycle for U.S. equities for the disruption.

A significant number of high-profile names within the industry, headed by nearly disgraced US-based neo broker Robinhood, have called for a shorter settlement cycle for U.S. equities: one business day after the trade is executed (T+1).

The extreme volatility and the high deposit figures required by Robinhood’s settlement partner forced the broker to take action, including restricting the trading of the stocks most exposed to the social media trading mania.

DTCC has released a paper, “Advancing Together: Leading the Industry to Accelerated Settlement”, which states that moving to a T+1 settlement cycle can lead to cost savings, reduced market risk, and lower margin requirements.